When the BBC and ITV announced their singing talent shows would be going head-to-head in the schedules, a ratings war was inevitable.
But is Let It Shine or The Voice UK winning the battle?
The consolidated viewing figures (the number of people who watched the shows live as well as through catch up services seven days after the show first aired) reveal that overall The Voice UK has held its viewership while Let It Shine has slipped.
However, episode six of both shows showed a slight reverse in fortunes. Let It Shine has nudged ahead in the overnight ratings while The Voice UK has dropped week-on-week.
This is most likely owing to the fact that on 11th February, Let It Shine went live meaning more people would have tuned in to check out the new format (and possibly to catch any on-air gaffes). There were no changes with The Voice UK as the Blind Auditions continued.
According to consolidated figures, the opening episode of Let It Shine on Saturday 7th January drew more viewers than its ITV rival, with 7 million viewers tuning in on BBC against 6.64 million on ITV. However, the tables turned the following week.
5.85 million people watched Let It Shine episode two; The Voice UK saw 6.06 million returning for more of will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson, Sir Tom Jones and Gavin Rossdale.
Meanwhile for the third episode, the consolidated figures actually show the gap closing between the two shows. 5.73 million people in total tuned in for Let It Shine on 21 January, whilst 5.83 million watched The Voice UK – putting the two shows almost neck-and-neck at this stage.
Episode four saw a much wider gulf opening up between the BBC and ITV as 5.08 million tuned in for Let It Shine in total and 6.43 million watched The Voice UK.
Although consolidated figures aren’t yet available for episodes five, six and seven overnight ratings are. These don’t take into account the on-demand figures, but just those who tuned in on the night – including on ITV+1 for The Voice UK.
The overnight TV ratings for Let It Shine and The Voice UK so far
|Let It Shine||The Voice UK|
|Episode 1 – Saturday 7 January||6.25 million||5.46 million (including ITV+1 5.85 million)|
|Episode 2 – Saturday 14 January||5.31 million||5.09 million (including ITV+1 5.38 million)|
|Episode 3 – Saturday 21 January||5.27 million||4.91 million (including ITV+1 5.31 million)|
|Episode 4 – Saturday 28 January||4.58 million||5.29 million (including ITV+1 5.56 million)|
|Episode 5 – Saturday 4 February||4.67 million||4.97 million (including ITV+1 5.29 million)|
|Episode 6 – Saturday 11 February||4.64 million / 3.68 million||4.48 million (including ITV+1 4.81 million)|
|Episode 7 – Saturday 18 February||4.29 million / 3.70 million||5.17 million (including ITV+1 5.51 million)|
The overall trend for The Voice UK is that the viewership has fallen by almost two million since the first episode, and The Voice UK has lost closer to one million viewers over the same period.
However the gap between the two shows has narrowed, with Let It Shine overtaking The Voice UK for the first time for its sixth episode. But only 3.68 million tuned in to see Let It Shine’s results show at 8.45pm.
The seventh episode of Let It Shine suffered a further small drop in viewers to 4.29 million, while The Voice UK grew to 5.17 million.